Our right to information is disappearing

Friday, November 30, 2012

Help us spread the word about the importance of access to information.
Watch our new video below, fill out our survey, and most importantly, share this with your friends and colleagues.

You may think Canada is a global leader when it comes to access to information, but that’s not the case. A recent study by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) assessed each country with right to information legislation.

Out of 93 countries, Canada is ranked 55.

An efficient access to information system is a critical component of the right to freedom of expression, allowing us to make informed decisions and keep those in authority accountable.

What are your thoughts on Canada’s access to information system?

In 1982, Canada was one of the first nations to adopt a “right to information” law. Our Access to Information Act was, for its day, one of the best in the world.

Three decades later, however, our access to information system is mired by delays, extensions, exceptions, and exemptions - and, on occasion, by blatant political interference, the destruction of documents and intentional failure to create records.

Instead of leading the world, Canada now finds itself behind countries like Mongolia, Tunisia, Uganda and Peru, ranking 55th out of 92 countries analyzed for the strength of their right to information laws.

The federal Information Commissioner has launched public consultations to identify specific reforms that would improve the Access to Information Act. CJFE will be submitting our views on the matter, and we want your input.

We think some of the needed changes are obvious, but we’d like your input to give weight to our submission. We’ll also summarize our findings in the annual CJFE Review of Free Expression in Canada.


Thank you to everyone who took part in our survey. The survey has now closed, but you can view the results as a part of our report on access to information, A HOLLOW RIGHT: Access to information in crisis.

More information

View more information on Access to Information from CJFE
View the full list of global Right to Information ratings from CLD